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Am I burning hot enough?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pelican, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. pelican

    pelican New Member

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    Nov 11, 2012
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    Here's my situation, I have a new Regency i2400 in my family room (bottom level) and I'm having a very hard time getting the heat upstairs. To make a long story short (and to sum up a few other posts I've had), I've tried a number of things to get the heat upstairs including a 4" air circulating fan in my doorway downstairs and just recently cutting two vents in my ceiling leading upstairs. I hear people on hear saying how their stove is heating all floors in their house up to mid 70 degrees while I can't even get my living room directly above this room up past 63 degree (meanwhile it's almost 80 degrees down here...My stove says it heats 2000 sq which is the size of my house and I just had new windows put in so I think it well insulated...

    Some heat does seem to be getting up the stairs though but not enough I think. Anyone else having the same problem and/or been able to solve it.

    One thing I just thought of tonight is I see a lot of posts on people's temperature being a lot hotter than mine. I have a stove top thermometer and placing it on the door (like others suggested) I get readings usually of 400-450 while cruising. Is that hot enough, or should I be going hotter to be more efficient at heating the house better? I usually get nervous though when I get the heat up to 450 and start to back things down.

    Thx,
    MP

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  2. Laurent Cyr

    Laurent Cyr Member

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    Hello Pelican.
    I have a 3,200 sq ft of bungalow (if I count the square footage from the basement), which I am heating with a Jotul F600. Like you, I get really nervous when the stove gets up to 500F. Mine cruises around 400-450 too. I had trouble getting the heat up as well. I`ve cut a hole in the floor upstairs leading to the hall between our two bedrooms. I hare temporarily jury-rigged a fan to push the heat up. I notice as well that the heat rises in the stairwell between the basement and first floor.
    It does take a while for the temperature to rise from 67F on the first floor, to 70-71F. I heat all day. I start on coals in the morning, and it seems as if I get to the 70F mark by supper. And meanwhile, the temperature in the basement is close to 80F. My house is well insulated. I`ve just finished insulating the basement, changed the windows of the house, new doors, insulated walls, etc...
    Maybe you are right. Maybe we aren`t heating hot enough....
    Although today is was well below 0F outside. It`s been like that for a week.
    I`ll be curious to see what the experts here say.

    Laurent
  3. Mad Tom

    Mad Tom Member

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    In Vermont if a stove is rated for 2000sq it most likely be good for only 1500. Depends on your climate. I was told those ratings are about right for say the mid Atlantic region. As for your stove heat I am not familiar with the stove. Though it seems your temps could be a little hotter. Hotter temp will make the main room a bit to hot though, at least for me.

    To get heat to areas of your house you have to make a convection. 2 holes in your heated room will draw more air up if the cooler air up top has a way to get down. Picture a 2 floor house with only one room per floor. One hole near the stove for heat to go up, one on the far end for cold to come down. If a house is chopped up into many rooms it can be difficult to move the air around.
  4. Laurent Cyr

    Laurent Cyr Member

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    I guess with one hole in the floor for the heat to go up, and the stairwell for the cold to come down, then it should work. I do feel the cold coming down the stairwell, and do feel some heat going up. So there is a convection thing happening there. What about you, Pelican?
    Laurent
  5. Mad Tom

    Mad Tom Member

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    Is the stairs close to the heated room or on the other side of the house? It makes a difference. I have a problem getting heat to my master which is on the far end and over a garage. I like it cold, but the boss likes it hot. Sometimes you can't win.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    For both of these cases it sounds like your stoves are being held back. Your stove is fine if it goes up to 600-650F. During cold weather our stove sits at 600-650 sometimes for hours.

    As for airflow, I can't recall how many times this has been posted. Stop trying to blow the hot air around. Instead blow cooler air, down the stairs toward the stove room by placing a table fan on the floor at the top of the stairs. Point it downstairs and run it on low speed. Hot air will replace the cooler air. If you hang a piece of toilet paper at the top of the doorway you'll see what I mean.
    Oldhippie and ailanthus like this.
  7. pelican

    pelican New Member

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    Yeah I guess since I cut the two vents in the ceiling I do notice more cool air entering the room via the stairway. At first I was thinking cold air=bad, but now it makes sense it's working more in a loop. I just cut my second hole in the ceiling yesterday mid day so I have yet to have a full day burn to see how it works. I feel a bit more warm air coming up since the second hole but not a lot.

    As far as the stairs go, they are very close to the room, just down a small hallway. I'm with you Mad Tom, I like it cold too but the boss likes it hot. Anything under 78 degrees is cold to her.

    What do you think about the stove top temps Mad Tom?

    MP
  8. pelican

    pelican New Member

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    Thanks begreen, I guess I just a little nervous being a new stove owner and seeing that "red" zone on the thermometer. for the 600 to 650 temps you're talking about, is that stove top temps?

    MP
  9. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Take an incense stick and walk through your home. Find the natural convective current and help it along. In most cases, this means pushing cold air towards the warm air (stove), but sometimes it does not.

    Stop periodically throughout the house, and watch where the smoke goes (don't move and make your breathing slow and steady, as not to disturb the airflow).

    It won't take much to get warm where you need it. And as for holes in the floor, it may be a code violation. Unless a fusible link is installed? Please check with local code, as selling your home may prove difficult, until the holes are fixed.
  10. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    We have a similar situation but have 1500 sq feet below and 1500 above. Our secret was ceiling fans. One in the living room where the stove is has to go on high, then the heat races up stairs. Then upstairs we have vaulted ceilings with 2 ceiling fans, those have to run on high too.

    DO NOT trust your stove top coil thermometer, mine runs 150 degrees what the IR thermometer says so if I ran 450 via the stove top I would only be really running 300 which is just the warmup temp.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you have the wrong thermometer. Mine doesn't have any red zones. Just a nice black on white scale. Could be you have a flue thermometer instead of a stove top thermometer.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    What is the layout of this house? Colonial, split level, Cape Cod? Trying to figure the living room being a floor up from the room the stove is in.
  13. pelican

    pelican New Member

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    It's a raised ranch, Brother Bart. Like a split level but when you walk in the front door you can walk up to the main living area or down to the lower area where the insert is in the family room.

    I loaded it up pretty good tonight and got it up a little past 500degrees. I think thats the hottest ive got it, made me nervous too. i heard some odd pings and sort of an odor, like an enamel smell, like when i broke the stove in. The room it's in got up to 80 degrees but sadly it's still only 62 upstairs...
  14. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    That's quite a temperature difference between the warm/cool rooms. Do you consider your house to be drafty? If you've got incense sticks like someone else mentioned, you could try to take one around with a roll of blue painters tape-on a windy day is best. Check around all your window trim, baseboard, exterior doorways, etc & put a piece of tape anywhere there's air infiltration. Then go back and caulk. I wasn't sure a woodstove would ever be able to do more than supplement our heating in this place, but I had an energy audit guy come and find several major leaks along with dozens of small ones. Probably used about a case of caulk & also a bunch of insulating foam sealant (in addition to some more major projects), and so far we've been good heating with just the little Jotul. Just a thought.
  15. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I think 450 degrees seems like a low stovetop operating temperature. on the other hand, your stove room is getting nice and hot with 450 degrees so you are getting some heat from the stove. Air movement upstairs seems like your main problem.

    Are you burning the stove 24 hrs a day? I find it takes a long time for the heat downstairs to have a large impact upstairs. In my house the stove downstairs cannot adequately heat the upstairs. The stove helps, but we need to use the electric baseboard heaters to keep the house as warm as we'd like.
  16. Mitch Newton

    Mitch Newton Member

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    Pelican, I concur with Ailanthus. My stove is also in the unfinished basement and I have some of the same issues. However, just yesterday the wife made some insulated curtains to hang on the front door and back door upstairs that had windows in the doors. Made an immediate difference of 2-3 degrees upstairs. My house has large windows and drafty doors. I think sealing drafts up is just as important as running the stove.
    PapaDave likes this.
  17. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Is everyone quite certain that the corner of this insert, Regency I2400, door temperature is the same as "stove top"? I'm not so certain if it is "fine" to get that area up to 650. He's nervous and it's getting that smell, for goodness sake.
  18. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    What are you nervous about?
  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    He never finished breaking it in, been burning too cool all along.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    He's measuring the corner of an insert door.
  21. pelican

    pelican New Member

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    Yeah, I don't think I want to get it up to 650, it seemed pretty darn hot at a little over 500. I guess the thermometer isn't actually on the corner, it's on the front door. I can't have it on top because the blower brings the tops temp down by 100 or so degrees.

    As for being drafty, I'm thinking maybe the opposite? I just put in all new energy efficient windows. Also it hasn't been that cold here, maybe in the mid thirties, but I'll see if I can dig up some insense sticks, great idea.
  22. argali66

    argali66 New Member

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    Hi,

    I had the same problem as you. This year when I took the old stove out and replaced it with a Hearthstone H1, I took a look at how I could make the upstairs get more heat. The Living where the stove is is on the end of the house and the wall behind the 2 upstairs bedroom was accessible. SO, I cut (2) 20"x20" holes between the Studs on the wall up high that is backside of the 2 Bedrooms on that same end of the house. LET ME TELL YOU! Last year we froze our butt off Upstairs. I even ended up using an electric oil radiator to add heat because the heat wasn't making to the other end of the house and up the stairs. Now, I turn the Ceiling Fan that is above the wood stove, the heat rises and goes into those 20" Vents and Wala! The Upstairs feels like it has Central Heat and Air. Took me 1 Hour to cut both holes and install the vents on both sides of the wall.

    Steve
    velvetfoot likes this.
  23. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Plus, do you really want it more than 80F in any room?
    You should get a cheap IR thermometer for more entertainment. :)
    etiger2007 likes this.
  24. burnt03

    burnt03 Burning Hunk

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    Woodduck had asked if you're burning 24 hours a day?

    I find I have a similar problem as yours (have to keep it pretty warm downstairs to get it comfortable upstairs) but it's offset a bit by having a good fire going all the time. I try not to let the stove get down below 250-300 before reload and the house seems to hold the heat a lot better.

    And another vote for the vents. My house had them cut into the floor already and once the fire is going downstairs, a hand over top of them feels just like a slow blowing heat register :)
  25. Laurent Cyr

    Laurent Cyr Member

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    Maybe I should buy an IR to measure the stove top temperature. I have one of those thermometers that you put on the top of the stove. Whenever is gets to 500, you can really feel the heat, and there is this smell. That, along with the flames, is really impressive. I guess it`s just having to get used to it running that high.

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